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Female sky-diving team flying high in Frenchville

Three members of the Misty Blues (from left), Kim Kanat, Kristal Ciamillo and team leader Cindy Irish, talk next to one of the planes at the Northern Aroostook Regional Airport. The all-female sky-diving team arrived in Frenchville late Friday afternoon and have four scheduled jumps as part of the weekend's Frenchville Fly-in & Air Show.
Julia Bayly
Three members of the Misty Blues (from left), Kim Kanat, Kristal Ciamillo and team leader Cindy Irish, talk next to one of the planes at the Northern Aroostook Regional Airport. The all-female sky-diving team arrived in Frenchville late Friday afternoon and have four scheduled jumps as part of the weekend's Frenchville Fly-in & Air Show. Buy Photo
Posted Aug. 17, 2013, at 5:39 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 18, 2013, at 7:49 p.m.

Poll Question

A member of the Misty Blues parachutes over the crowd at the Northern Aroostook Regional Airport in Frenchville on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. The all-female sky-diving team brought four members to the Frenchville Fly-in & Air Show.
Anne Ward
A member of the Misty Blues parachutes over the crowd at the Northern Aroostook Regional Airport in Frenchville on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. The all-female sky-diving team brought four members to the Frenchville Fly-in & Air Show.

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — Four members of the Misty Blues, the world’s only all-female skydiving team, were in Frenchville over the weekend wowing the crowds during the fourth annual Frenchville Fly-In and Airshow while also spreading their message that anyone who has a goal or a dream can accomplish it simply by working hard.

The two-day show began Saturday morning at Northern Aroostook Regional Airport and was organized by air show director David Fernald Jr. It was the first time it featured the Misty Blues, a team based out of Ann Arbor, Mich., which collectively has 25 years of parachuting experience with 43,000 jumps and 34 world records.

They performed twice on Saturday mingled with crowds for photos, autographs and questions. They were scheduled to perform twice Sunday, but high winds forced them to cancel one scheduled jump. It was the group’s first appearance in northern Maine, but they performed last year at the Great State of Maine Airshow in Brunswick.

Team members Kim Kanat of Beverly Hills, Mich., Kristal Ciamillo of St. Clair Shores, Mich., Kay Hoiby of Gardiner, N.Y., and team leader Cindy Irish of Ann Arbor, Mich., arrived in Frenchville on Friday evening. Kanat, Ciamillo, and Irish said they were excited to take part in the air show.

“This is a hobby for all of us,” Irish said. “We all have full-time jobs, and we come together from different parts of the country to take part in air shows and other events during the season. It really is a huge facet of women from many different walks of life and skill sets with a wide variety of talents.”

The group includes a doctor, engineer, a welder, and several business owners.

Ciamillo said that the group does between eight and 12 shows a year, using skydiving to draw attention to building self-confidence.

“We are a confident group of women in a male dominated sport,” she said Friday. “So we really stick out. We do draw attention to ourselves. But that can be a good thing, because we do interact with a lot of kids at the shows, and they ask us a lot of questions about whether this is challenging or hard or scary, and we can tell them that this is something that is possible if they work for it.”

Irish agreed, saying that one of her favorite parts about the team is the time she spends interacting with young people and motivating them to chase their dreams.

Kanat said that she enjoys the sisterhood of the team.

“We are a large group of women who all have these different interests, but in the end, we all come together for this one common goal and it works out very well,” she said on Friday.

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